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While it’s true that there are some construction tasks that you can do on your own, there are certain tasks that can’t be done as a DIY project. One of these projects is the laying down of the foundation. It’s not a DIY project because of two things. First of all, it’s very challenging. It takes a lot of skills and specialized equipment to do it. It’s almost an exact science and one mistake can lead to a disaster. With something as complicated as foundation work, mistakes will happen if done by an untrained professional.
Speaking of mistakes, the other reason why you have to check out contractors and hire the best one for the job is because it’s a very important part of the overall project. The foundation is very important for the project –whether residential, commercial or industrial. If it’s not perfect, then it could lead to a lot of potentially dangerous issues which will be discussed later on.
The job of a pro can be summarized into one sentence. A foundation contractor’s job is to ensure a solid foundation either by installing a new foundation or repairing a previously-installed one.
Now that it’s been established that you need to hire a contractor for the job, you’re probably ready to get in touch with companies. Before you do that, read on so that you’ll know everything there is to know about these. The information provided in this article will help you find the best contractor and as a bonus, you’ll find a great way to get quotes from these.
What are the Tasks Performed by These?
Generally speaking, they take care of the foundation. Here are the more specific tasks performed by them:
- Installation of concrete foundation.
In addition to the installation of vertical concrete structures, they also replace them.
- They do the necessary repairs.
Even the most structurally sound foundations will get damaged. There will be cracks and leaks. They can also be stained. A good pro can do the necessary repairs.
- Installation or replacement of foundation drainage.
Depending on the design, drainage pipes may also be installed at the foundation’s base. Installation or replacement of this drainage requires a specialized skillset.
- Waterproofing of the foundation.
You can’t expose your home’s foundation to too much water. This is why it’s important that you waterproof it. A good foundation contractor near you can take care of the waterproofing so that a seal will be formed outside of the foundation.
- Installation or repair of drainage channels in the basement.
Plastic channels are installed where the floor and walls meets. Foundation companies can install these channels and they can also repair them if necessary.
- Raising of the concrete foundation.
Piers can be used to raise the concrete foundation. This is done for stability purposes.
These are just some of the tasks performed by these companies. If you need any of these services, it’s a must that you hire the services of a good contractor.
Signs of Problems to Your Foundation
If you take a closer look at your home, you may see signs that show that there are problems to your foundation. In fact, you may have noticed these signs in the past, but you haven’t given them much thought. Well, it’s time for you to take them seriously. Here are some easy to spot signs that you should watch out for:
- There are cracks on the walls.
- There are doors that don’t close or scrape the floor.
- There are noticeable bulges on the floor.
These are tell-tale signs that there are issues with the foundation. Basically, the foundation settles and/or moves. These happen if your property was built on expansive clay or the fill soils weren’t compacted properly. Lack of or incorrect maintenance around the foundations can also cause these issues.
If you have an older home, then you’re vulnerable to these issues. If you notice any of these signs, you have to start the process of hiring a contractor. It doesn’t really matter what the cause is. If there are foundation issues, you have to take care of them at once. You can’t really escape the issues. The signs and problems will just become worse and worse and it can lead to a disaster. At the very least, it will lead to costlier repairs the longer you wait so go ahead and ask contractors how they can help you.
What Needs to be Done
Again, foundation work is not something that you can do. This also applies to repair. In the issues listed above, only a trained contractor can fix them. Basically, the concrete foundation has already sunken so it has to be lifted. The best companies do one of two strategies to solve this issue. The first method is piering where supports are installed underground. These supports lift the concrete and support it in the process. The other method is slabjacking where a grout mixture is used to fill the space underneath the slab so that the foundation will float back to the original position.
The method to be used will depend on several factors. It’s on a case to case basis. The contractor needs to take a look at your home’s foundation and do an assessment on the extent of the damage. With this assessment, they’ll be able to come up with the best possible solution to solve the problem.
How Much will It Cost?
Don’t be surprised to know that the cost can go as high as $10,000. This is a complicated task that requires immense expertise. The solutions are not easy to do and there’s no way you can solve the problem on your own. Since your foundation plays a very important role in your home and your home is one of your biggest investments, you have to do everything to protect it.
Actually, $10,000 is probably the highest that you’d spend to repair a foundation. Most of the foundation companies will charge lower than that. Again, it’s on a case to case basis. But based on the average all over the US, most of American homeowners who required foundation repair spent anywhere from $1,800 to $5,800. Some homeowners were lucky enough to spend just $500, but expect the cost to be anywhere within that average.
Should You Hire a Structural Engineer?
Some homeowners hire a structural engineer before they reach out to contractors. Actually, this is a very good strategy and can actually save you money. A structural engineer can take a look at your home’s foundation and can do a proper and unbiased assessment. He’ll create a report on the issues and the best possible solutions. You can then present this report to the contractors.
Why not just go straight to the pros? Contractors want to earn money and some of them would present a solution that can earn them the most profit. It’s just business. On the other hand, a structural engineer has no vested interest in the possible solutions since you’re not going to hire him to do these solutions. You’ll just hire him to create a foundation report. There’s nothing in it for him if he’s going to favor one solution from the rest.
A Good Investment
It’s quite obvious that you have to spend a lot of money to have work done on your foundation. However, it’s a good investment that you have to make. It’s a good investment for a new construction because you’re providing your property with a good foundation that can serve your home well for the decades to come. It’s also a good investment to have problems repaired. You’re going to avoid costlier repairs in the future because these problems will get worse through time.
It also makes sense from a reselling standpoint. When reselling, it’s all about increasing your home’s resale value. Potential buyers know how to spot potential issues and if they see cracks along the walls or bumps along the floors, they’ll know that there’s something wrong with the foundation. They’ll make a mental calculation how much they have to spend to get it fixed. But if you take care of the issues now, there won’t be any issues to spot.
Of course, you have to disclose the fact that you had work done on the foundation, but that can be a good thing. This is especially true if the house was built on expansive clay. They’ll know that there are potential issues but if you already had piers installed, then they’ll know that they don’t have to worry about them.
With these reasons, you should start checking out foundation companies right now.
Tips to Follow to Find the Best
Since this is a profitable industry, there are a lot of companies to choose from. Not all of them do good work, so it’s important that you follow these tips in order to find the best one to hire:
- Don’t rely too much on what they’ll tell you.
In addition to being good at installing and repairing foundation, a lot of these companies are also good at advertising and marketing their services. It’s a business, and all business owners would want to earn money.
Some companies may offer ridiculously cheap prices, but you have to know how they’re able to offer these prices. Don’t make the decision based on the price alone.
This is why you have to educate yourself. Know the basic things about foundations and the information provided above is a good start. Learn about the issues and possible solutions so when you talk to contractors, they’ll know that you’re not someone that they can sweet talk.
- Make sure that their repair methods are evaluated by the International Code Council Evaluation Services.
Different companies have different methods. It’s important that these methods have been evaluated by the International Code Council Evaluation Services or ICC-ES which is a non-profit group that makes sure that building products and methods comply with their code.
- Know about their depth clause.
The depth clause ensures that companies still earn money beyond depths of (usually) 20 to 30 feet. They’ll quote you with these depths in mind. If they need to go beyond that, they’d have to spend more money to do so. If there’s a depth clause, it will state that you need to pay them a fixed amount for every foot of depth. If there’s none, it’s either they’ll continue with the hydraulic piling and operate at a loss or just stop doing so which puts your foundation at risk. Fancy a guess on what they’ll do?
- Make sure that they’re offering a warranty.
A contractor that offers a warranty is one that’s confident with their work. Make sure that the company can be trusted to back that warranty. This is why it’s a good idea to hire a company with a national presence that offers a warranty trust so there’s always a plan to ensure that the terms of the warranty are met. On that note, make sure to read and understand the terms.
- Ask for an itemized quote.
Reputable pros shouldn’t have any problems sending an itemized quote. Yes, it has to be an itemized quote so that you’ll know how much you need to pay and what you’re about to pay for. An itemized quote also allows you to compare it with the other quotes. On that note, it’s important that you ask for quotes from several contractors for comparison purposes. It will also help you find the best deal.
Use our Service to Get Free Quotes From the Concrete Foundation Companies
The form on our site allows you to reach out to the best local concrete foundation companies. Since you’re looking for a local contractor, make sure to provide your zip code. The other details that you’ll provide ensure that you’ll get accurate quotes.
It’s a free service so try it out today. With the information you’ve learned, you’re ready.